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Climate Hustle

New research, September 25 - October 1, 2017

Posted on 6 October 2017 by Ari Jokimäki

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below.

Climate change

1. Diurnal Cycle Variability of Surface Temperature Inferred from AIRS data

" is found that the DTR of the surface (skin) temperature over the global Earth has a temporal small positive trend in the decade of the AIRS measurements indicating that the day temperatures grew slightly more rapidly than the night temperatures. A possible cause of the observed DTR increase is a decrease of the low cloud fraction at nighttime found for the same time period from the AIRS retrievals."

2. The influence of ice sheets on temperature during the past 38 million years inferred from a one-dimensional ice sheet–climate model

"We find that ice volume variability has a strong enhancing effect on atmospheric temperature changes, particularly in the regions where the ice sheets are located. As a result, polar amplification in the Northern Hemisphere decreases towards warmer climates as there is little land ice left to melt. Conversely, decay of the Antarctic ice sheet increases polar amplification in the Southern Hemisphere in the high-CO2 regime. Our results also show that in cooler climates than the pre-industrial, the ice–albedo feedback predominates the surface–height–temperature feedback, while in warmer climates they are more equal in strength."

3. Fast and slow components of the extratropical atmospheric circulation response to CO2 forcing

"... all of the poleward shift of the midlatitude jets and Hadley cell edge occurs in a fast response within 5 to 10 years of the forcing, during which less than half of the expected equilibrium warming is realized. Compared with this fast response, the slow response over subsequent decades to centuries features stronger polar amplification (especially in the Antarctic), enhanced warming in the Southern Ocean, an El Niño-like pattern of tropical Pacific warming, and weaker land-sea contrast."

4. Reducing model structural uncertainty in climate model projections - A rank-based model combination approach

5. Soil greenhouse gas fluxes, environmental controls and the partitioning of N2O sources in UK natural and semi-natural land use types

6. Brominated VSLS and their influence on ozone under a changing climate

7. Sequestration of atmospheric CO2 in boreal forest carbon pools in northeastern China: Effects of nitrogen deposition

8. Heatwaves in China: definitions, leading patterns and connections to large-scale atmospheric circulation and SSTs

9. Seasonal sensitivity of the Northern Hemisphere jet-streams to Arctic temperatures on subseasonal timescales

10. Variability in above- and belowground carbon stocks in a Siberian larch watershed

11. The Influence of Recurrent Modes of Climate Variability on the Occurrence of Monthly Temperature Extremes over South America

12. Rainfall along the coast of Peru during strong El Niño events

13. Relict mountain permafrost area (Loess Plateau, China) exhibits high ecosystem respiration rates and accelerating rates in response to warming

14. Multi-decadal evolution characteristics of global surface temperature anomaly data shown by observation and CMIP5 models

15. Revisiting the leading drivers of Pacific coastal drought variability in the Contiguous United States

16. A multi-scale analysis of the extreme rain event of Ouagadougou in 2009

17. Potential to constrain projections of hot temperature extremes

18. Soil respiration across a permafrost transition zone: spatial structure and environmental correlates

19. Detection of intraseasonal large-scale heat waves: Characteristics and historical trends during the Sahelian Spring

20. A robust null hypothesis for the potential causes of megadrought in western North America

21. Marine air penetration in California's Central Valley: Meteorological drivers and the impact of climate change

22. How robust is the weakening of the Pacific Walker circulation in CMIP5 idealized transient climate simulations?

23. Response of water use efficiency to summer drought in a boreal Scots pine forest in Finland

24. Sea ice assimilation into a coupled ocean–sea ice model using its adjoint

25. Numerical simulations to quantify the diurnal contrast in local climate trend induced by desert urbanization

26. Atmospheric dynamics is the largest source of uncertainty in future winter European rainfall

27. Tidal Variability Related to Sea Level Variability in the Pacific Ocean

Climate change impacts

28. Using fuzzy logic to determine the vulnerability of marine species to climate change

"We identified 157 species to be highly vulnerable while 294 species are identified as being at high risk of impacts. Species that are most vulnerable tend to be large-bodied endemic species."

29. Projected reductions in climatic suitability for vulnerable British birds

"In conclusion, community-wide projections of changes in climatic suitability based on abundance indicate that bird assemblages throughout Great Britain will be impacted by climate change and that species already of concern are likely to be impacted hardest. Of the species projected to benefit, the ability of currently red-listed species to respond positively to climate without other interventions is unclear."

30. Increase in the risk of exposure of forest and fruit trees to spring frosts at higher elevations in Switzerland over the last four decades


• Maximum temperatures have increased more than minimum temperatures.
• Spring phenology has advanced at a faster rate than the date of the last frost.
• The risk of frost injury to trees has increased at higher elevations in Switzerland.
• The risk of frost injury to trees has remained unchanged at lower elevations.
• Planting summer-adapted trees should be carefully considered regarding frost risk."

31. Climate change and spring frost damages for sweet cherries in Germany

"For both sites, no significant increase in frost frequency and frost damage during blossom was found. In Geisenheim, frost damages significantly decreased from the middle of the twenty-first century."

32. Phenological and distributional shifts in ichthyoplankton associated with recent warming in the northeast Pacific Ocean

"This suggests that the spawning phenology and distribution of several ecologically and commercially important fish species dramatically and rapidly changed in response to the warming conditions occurring in 2014–2016, and could be an indication of future conditions under projected climate change. Changes in spawning timing and poleward migration of fish populations due to warmer ocean conditions or global climate change will negatively impact areas that were historically dependent on these fish, and change the food web structure of the areas that the fish move into with unforeseen consequences."

33. A decline in primary production in the North Sea over twenty-five years, associated with reductions in zooplankton abundance and fish stock recruitment

"This shows that recent decades have seen a significant decline in primary production in the North Sea. Moreover, primary production differs in magnitude between six hydrodynamic regions within the North Sea. Sea surface warming and reduced riverine nutrient inputs are found to be likely contributors to the declining levels of primary production." ... "Given positive (bottom-up) associations between primary production, zooplankton abundance and fish stock recruitment, this study provides strong evidence that if the decline in primary production continues, knock-on effects upon the productivity of fisheries are to be expected unless these fisheries are managed effectively and cautiously."

34. Radial growth and physiological response of coniferous trees to Arctic amplification

"Tree radial growth decreased over the past 52 years in central eastern Siberia with the higher rate of summer temperature increase than other regions, as indicated by the negative correlation between radial growth and summer temperature, but increased in northern Europe and Canada."

35. Interannual bumble bee abundance is driven by indirect climate effects on floral resource phenology

36. A conceptual model for climatic teleconnection signal control on groundwater variability in the UK and Europe

37. Extreme flows and water availability of the Brahmaputra River under 1.5 and 2 °C global warming scenarios

38. Biome-specific climatic space defined by temperature and precipitation predictability

39. Interannual variability of ecosystem carbon exchange: From observation to prediction

40. Ice ages leave genetic diversity ‘hotspots’ in Europe but not in Eastern North America

41. Detecting impacts of extreme events with ecological in situ monitoring networks

42. Coupling of pollination services and coffee suitability under climate change

43. The Importance of Freshwater to Spatial Variability of Aragonite Saturation State in the Gulf of Alaska

44. Bottom Water Acidification and Warming on the Western Eurasian Arctic Shelves: Dynamical Downscaling Projections

45. Intercomparison of regional-scale hydrological models and climate change impacts projected for 12 large river basins worldwide—a synthesis

46. Subjective measures of climate resilience: What is the added value for policy and programming?

47. Dry groundwater wells in the western United States

48. Temporal photoperiod sensitivity and forcing requirements for budburst in temperate tree seedlings

49. Regional contribution to variability and trends of global gross primary productivity

50. Farmers’ perception on agro-ecological implications of climate change in the Middle-Mountains of Nepal: a case of Lumle Village, Kaski

51. Phenological patterns of Spodoptera Guenée, 1852 (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is more affected by ENSO than seasonal factors and host plant availability in a Brazilian Savanna

52. Interannual and seasonal patterns of carbon dioxide, water, and energy fluxes from ecotonal and thermokarst-impacted ecosystems on carbon-rich permafrost soils in northeastern Siberia

53. Changes in relative fit of human heat stress indices to cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal hospitalizations across five Australian urban populations

54. Snowmelt timing, phenology, and growing season length in conifer forests of Crater Lake National Park, USA

Climate change mitigation

55. Assessing the costs and benefits of US renewable portfolio standards

"RPS programs are not likely to represent the most cost effective path towards achieving air quality and climate benefits. Nonetheless, the findings suggest that US RPS programs are, on a national basis, cost effective when considering externalities."

56. U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement: Reasons, impacts, and China’s response

"China faces mounting pressure from the international community to assume global climate leadership after the U.S. withdraws, and this article proposes that China should reach the high ends of its domestic climate targets under the current Nationally Determined Contributions; internationally, China should facilitate the rebuilding of shared climate leadership, replacing the G2 with C5. Meanwhile, China needs to keep the U.S. engaged in climate cooperation."

57. The impacts of U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on the carbon emission space and mitigation cost of China, EU, and Japan under the constraints of the global carbon emission space

"...the failure of the U.S. to honor its NDC commitment to different degrees will increase the U.S. carbon emission space and decrease its mitigation cost. However, the carbon emission space of other parties, including China, EU, and Japan, will be reduced and their mitigation costs will be increased."

58. Citizens show strong support for climate policy, but are they also willing to pay?

"The findings reveal that WTP [willingness to pay] is much lower than WTS [willingness to support]." (When asking about forest conservation in Brazil.)

59. Carbon futures: a valiant attempt to bring scientific order from modeling chaos

60. Renewable natural gas in California: An assessment of the technical and economic potential

61. The sociological imagination in a time of climate change

Other papers

62. The Plio-Pleistocene climatic evolution as a consequence of orbital forcing on the carbon cycle

63. Spatially variable geothermal heat flux in West Antarctica: evidence and implications

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Comments 1 to 12:

  1. From the research article #35 listed above :

    Seasonal and annual variations in temps greatly exceed anything climate change has produced in the last 100-150 years, yet somehow climate change is blamed.

    In the meantime a much more scientific and reasoned study of the bumble bee decline,

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  2. Here in Finland seasonal and annual variations in temperature are very large, and yet, during my lifetime climate has changed so much that it is very easy to see. Winters are mild and snowless and spring starts earlier compared to the time when I was young. Climate change is now so clear that you can see it even without thermometers.

    The study in question seems scientific enough and well reasoned to me. They don't just "blame" climate change. Also, the fact that climate can affect bumble bee abundances doesn't mean that pesticides can't have an effect, too.

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  3. Tom13 @1

    "Seasonal and annual variations in temps greatly exceed anything climate change has produced in the last 100-150 years, yet somehow climate change is blamed."

    You have missinterpreted the whole issue.The bee study is not looking at just one season or year. The study says long term "interannual" changes in temperatures and bee populations over several years so clearly this relates to climate change.

    "In the meantime a much more scientific and reasoned study of the bumble bee decline"

    You have missinterpreted the studies. That study you quote looks at impacts of pesticides on bees. The interranual bumble bee abundance research looks at subalpine species of bees, ie on high up slopes of mountains where not many pesticides would be used. 

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  4.  #2 & #3 

    The daily fluctuations in temps, the seasonal fluctuations in temps, the annual fluctuations in temps dwarf the amount of temp change due to global warming, which has been in the range of .5c over the last 50 or so years. Surprising how much time and effort is spent and wasted blaming something that has an extremely small probability of the cause of the decline of the bees.

    Attempts to blame global warming is similar to the attempts to blame GW on the demise of the costa rica toads.  


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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please cease providing examples of the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.  Just because, in your specific example, that AGW was likely ruled out as the explicit cause of the demise of the species in question does not preclude AGW being a causal agent in the demise of other species.  Per your link:

    "this does not mean that current and future global warming will not be involved in extinction. Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns will without a doubt contribute to stress on ecological communities that could lead to the extinction of species"

  5. Tom13:

    You are making a completely wild, unsupported claim that animals (in this case bumblebees) are not affected by the over 1C increase in measured temperatures.  You are arguing from ignorance since you do not understand the ecological effects of an increase in temperatures.

    Please provide a citation of a scientific study that supports your absurd claim that a 1C chage in climate will not affect the abundance and range of animals.

    Where I live in Tampa, Florida, coconuts now grow when just 20 years  ago it was too cold.  Meanwhile, Florida Peaches no  longer produce in my yard because it is too warm for them in the winter.  

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  6. Tom13@4

    "The daily fluctuations in temps, the seasonal fluctuations in temps, the annual fluctuations in temps dwarf the amount of temp change due to global warming,

    It doesnt matter if daily fluctuations in temperature are greater than climate change over the last 50 years. Daily fluctuations in temperatures are of no relevance to changes in temperature over time, and how that affects bee  populations. This should be self evident. This website need a borehole like RC for outrageously stupid posts.

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  7. #5 - Michael - Getting you up to speed on basic horticulture.

    A) Here is a picture of coconut palms in Largo FL, from the 1950's - 67 years ago, ( a little more than 20 years ago).

    B) peach trees have an average  life span of 12-15 years of which only 10years or so are productive.  Try planting some younger peach trees and the new ones will start producing in their 3rd year.  

    You might find that the .5c change has had zero effect on peach production - after you plant the new trees.  

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] That is not a credible scientific source.  Either concede the point or actually support your position with a relevant citation to the primary literature.

  8. #6 - the bumble bees range is quite large, as shown for the eastern common bumble bee.  A global temp change of .5c over the last 50 or so years isnt going to make an iota of difference. 

    A Broader knowledge of basic science should help differeniating good studies from speculative.

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] That source does not explicitly support your contentions.  Either concede the point or actually support your position with a relevant citation to the primary literature.

    Further, Joe, please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Moderating this site is a tiresome chore, particularly when commentators repeatedly submit off-topic posts, intentionally misleading comments and graphics, operate multiple user identities, continually ignore when their points have been rebutted by others or simply make things up. We really appreciate people's cooperation in abiding by the Comments Policy, which is largely responsible for the quality of this site.
    Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion.  If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter, as no further warnings shall be given.

  9. Tom13@7

    "You might find that the .5c change has had zero effect on peach production - after you plant the new trees."

    Pure unsupported, unscientific speculation,  and not really comparable to changes in bee populations. And completely missing the point that if you have a change in some environmental factor, the change will still be there even with a new crop of trees.

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  10. Tom13:

    Largo Florida is an Island in the Florida Keys.  It is over 200 miles south of Tampa where I live.  It is generally known that it is warmer closer to the equator. 20 years ago it was too cold in Tampa for trees like coconuts and mangos.  It is now common to see these planted in Tampa. If you do not know what you are talking about you should not comment.

    My trees are only 10 years old.  They require about 150 hours of cold in winter to produce fruit.  20 years ago we regularly got 200 hours here but for the last 10 years it has not been cold enough.

    Moose are currently going extinct in Minnesota because the winters have warmed up enough that ticks are no longer killed by winter cold.  The ticks are killing the moose.

    It is common knowledge that pine beetles are killing millions of pine trees across North America because they survive the warmer winters.  They used to be killed by cold.  It is closer to 2C warmer on average in winter now.  That is enough to kill the moose and enable the pine beetles to survive.

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  11. Ari Jokimäki:

    Here in Finland seasonal and annual variations in temperature are very large, and yet, during my lifetime climate has changed so much that it is very easy to see. Winters are mild and snowless and spring starts earlier compared to the time when I was young. Climate change is now so clear that you can see it even without thermometers.

    Where I live, those seasonal shifts are seen with thermometers and statistics too.


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  12. Tom13@8:

    #6 - the bumble bees range is quite large, as shown for the eastern common bumble bee. A global temp change of .5c over the last 50 or so years isnt going to make an iota of difference.

    What is an "iota of difference"? A 5% reduction in the population of a species? A 1% reduction? 10%? A difference too small to measure? And how would you know how much impact a 0.5°C change in average temperature will cause without any attempt to measure it?

    You seem to be saying a change in average temperature in a given location in a species' range has no effect other than to make that location exactly like some other location in the species' range at a different latitude or altitude. That is, you are making an unstated ceteris paribus assumption that you must justify.

    Your assumption is shaky because a species depends on much more for its survival than just the average temperature at a location. A species also depends on the distributions and life cycles of many other species with overlapping ranges. Those other species adapt to climate change at different rates - some may relocate rapidly in response to a changing average temperature, while others may move only slowly. As a result, a rapid warming in a given location does not instantly transform that location into an exact duplicate of another location at a different latitude or altitude.

    Many species lack the ability to store much food, so much of an ecosystem operates on a "just in time" basis. Disuptions to the familiar schedule may, for example, impact migrating birds that find themselves arriving before or after the insects they feed on to get the nutrition they need to lay eggs and raise their young. 

    With thousands of interdependent species having overlapping ranges all shifting at different rates in response to a rising average temperature, conditions at a given location will be in flux for many years. During that time, some combination of changing factors may turn out to be hostile to a given species, which lacks the ability to ride out the storm. By analogy, if the spot where you are standing is under a flood, your ability to breathe right now isn't helped by knowing the flood will abate in a few days.

    Impacts on one species can cascade through an ecosystem, affecting other species that depend on that species. These cascading effects take time and introduce a response lag to a given disruption. (For example, as pine beetles benefit from warmer winters, they need some years to build up their numbers and wipe out forests.) Thus even if the impact of a given warming over the past 50 years on a given species may not be visible now, the impact may not have yet fully played out. By analogy, consider a young adult tobacco smoker who appears to be in good health, or a professional gridiron football player who appears neurologically normal. Unseen damage is accumulating from their respective chemical and head trauma insults. It may manifest more visibly in 20 or 30 years. If physicians could only study young smokers and football players, they might not guess what's in store for many of them.

    Global average temperature has hardly stopped rising. The temperature rise over the past 50 years is but a tiny fraction (perhaps a fifth to a tenth) of what the next century will see, barring drastic action to halt human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Humans remain solidly on pace to heat the Earth to levels Earth has not seen in millions of years, by restoring atmospheric carbon dioxide to levels Earth last saw millions of years ago.

    The roughly 5°C rise in average global temperature between the previous glacial maximum and the year 1750 was also less than the daily and seasonal temperature variation at many locations on Earth. But that seemingly small global average temperature change melted at least a vertical kilometer of ice from what is now Chicago. If we've already caused a temperature change equal to 10% of that post-Ice Age temperature change in just the past 50 years, how could it not be having, and be yet to have, impacts?

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